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AdvocaGroups Testify on Impact of Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Transportation and Storage

DECEMBER 5, 2007
5:50 P

Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear: 240-462-3216 (mobile)
Jill Parillo, Physicians for Social Responsibility: 202-302-7609 (mobile)
Nickolas Roth, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation: 914-673-6666(mobile)
Alfred Meyer, Alliance for Nuclear Accountability: 608-513-4354(mobile)

Groups Testify on Impact of Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Transportation and Storage

WASHINGTON - December 5 -At a Department of Energy (DOE) hearing today, a coalition of environmental and security groups detailed their concerns over the proposed plan to transport nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain, Nevada for storage. Citing serious security, environmental, and public health threats associated with shipping nuclear waste through residential areas across the United States, the groups stated that the Yucca Mountain plan has fundamental flaws and should not go forward.

In 1987, Yucca Mountain, Nevada was selected by Congress as the only site to be studied as a permanent geologic repository for the United States’ now approximately 60,000 metric tons of commercial nuclear waste. Due to a protracted battle over security, environmental, scientific and health concerns, the Yucca Mountain Geologic Repository has never opened. After a twenty year battle, the DOE is still struggling against strong public and congressional opposition to the plan.

"Shipping tens of thousands of high-level radioactive waste trucks, trains, and barges through 45 states and the District of Columbia risks severe accidents and terrorist attacks releasing catastrophic amounts of deadly radioactivity in major population centers," said Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear. "These waste transports would represent potential Mobile Chernobyls and dirty bombs on wheels rolling past the homes of millions of Americans."

“Instead of the flawed Yucca Mountain plan, our member organizations support hardened on site storage of spent nuclear fuel as described in the Principles for Safeguarding Nuclear Waste at Reactors,” said Alfred Meyer, Program Director of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability representing 35 organizations around the U.S.

"From a scientific, national security and energy policy perspective, Yucca Mountain is a failure. Rather than continue to sink precious public resources into the failed nuclear waste dump, the Department of Energy should be focused on promoting the technologies proven to work: renewable energy like wind and solar and energy efficiency," said Tyson Slocum, Director of Public Citizen's Energy Program.

“Yucca Mountain is a volcano on an aquifer in an earthquake zone,” said Ben Schreiber, Energy Advocate for Environment America. “It is unsound for the permanent storage of nuclear waste.”

“Yucca Mountain is the worst single site that has been evaluated in the U.S. and should be abandoned,” said Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research.

“In addition to the environmental, security, and health threats, simple math says that Yucca is not a viable solution to the United States’ nuclear waste problem. The total amount of commercial nuclear waste in the US will exceed Yucca’s capacity for storage by 2010. Any way you look at it, a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain doesn’t add up,” said Nickolas Roth, Washington, DC Director for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

This hearing is the last of a series of public hearings across the country responding to the DOE’s Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on the Geologic Repository for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High Level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on a Rail Alignment for the Construction and Operation of a Railroad in Nevada to a Geologic Repository at Yucca Mountain. Under the National Environmental Policy Act, the DOE is required to give the public the opportunity to express their concerns or questions through written or oral comments. The public comment period ends January 10, 2008.

Written comments may be submitted to:

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management,
1551 Hillshire Drive,
Las Vegas, NV 89134

or by facsimile to 1-800-967-0739, or by using the on-line form.


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